Saturday, October 15, 2011

Investment opportunities in Pakistan

Pakistan is a developing economy which means it has a lot of potential to grow and it's also resource rich. This is a very good news for businesses. It has itself a huge market of 180 million people and most of the business sector markets are untapped e.g very very low population is ensured yet, teledensity is still a lot low when compared to advanced countries , processed foods are still a small portion of total food market and a lot gets perished, food stroage and their packaging , agricultural mechanization , internet and broadband , modern educational facilities , transportation and housing etc all have a lot of room to grow.

Labour is cheap but infrastructure is still poor for most of the sectors , fuel and electricity cost has gone up . Electricity price has gone up due to major portion from thermal plants. There is subsidy on gas for many industries but on the whole fuel is not cheap as around 80% is imported and govt also collects taxes on fuels.
Apart from this terrorism is still a big threat but it is subsiding slowly now.

Cost of doing business is still high as you can notice that instead of growing at 7 to 8% , our growth rate is around 3%. Loadshedding and gas shortage is still a problem which can not be resolved immediately. After completion of Basha Dam which may take six years from now we can not have somewhat cheap and abundant electricity . Though we can end loadshedding as thermal plants have sufficient installed capacity but govt lack resources to finance them due to huge circular debt around Rs. 250 billions. Gas loadshedding can not end soon too unless Pak-Iran gas pipeline project is not completed which seems difficult due to American      opposition .

One thing is very good for businesses that SPB has lowered discount rates by 200 basis points to 12% in few months and it seems probable that it will further reduce them. This will help create demand and more credit will be available to businesses by banks which will help growth in businesses.

Banking system in the country has developed a lot now as they are fully automated now and online banking facilities are provided now around the globe. Some banks have also opened their branches abroad. Telecommunication facilities are increased and teledensity is increasing rapidly which is very useful for businesses.

In spite of difficulties investment by companies from abroad and from locals have proven profitable and that's encouraging for others.

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